WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- In partnership with the School Health Alliance for Forsyth County, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is providing mobile vaccination services.
State mandated immunization changes for the 2015-2016 school year will affect rising kindergarteners and seventh graders.
If students are not vaccinated within 30 calendar days of the first day of school, they will face suspension.
“If students do not have immunizations or their kindergarten health assessments by that date, students can actually be suspended from school until they can provide documentation that those things are complete,” Dr. Stephanie Daniel, executive director of the School Health Alliance for Forsyth County, said.
Last year, 299 kindergarten students in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools were suspended for lacking a physical and/or immunizations.
In middle school, 100 students were suspended for not having the Tdap vaccination.
School leaders hope that providing state required immunizations via mobile unit will help decrease vaccination related suspensions during the school year.
"We've tried to make the mobile services convenient by going to where families live,” Daniel said.
The School Health Alliance for Forsyth County works with the school district to provide health, nutritional and mental health services on-site at schools.
The nonprofit organization is taking the mobile unit to different elementary schools within the district each Wednesday as part of the “Wellness Wednesday” initiative.
Medical teams will provide immunizations along with other services such as sports physicals.
“The seventh graders are now required to have their Tdap booster, the rising seventh graders most of them have had it because it was a previous requirement for sixth graders,” Dr. Leigh Howell, with School Health Alliance for Forsyth County, said.
“Now, this requirement has changed to seventh grade and we're adding Menactra, the meningitis shot,” she added.
The mobile unit will travel to elementary schools each Wednesday through Aug. 12.
Another option outside of the mobile unit is to receive immunizations through the Bulldog Health Center at Mineral Springs.
For questions or to schedule an appointment at the Mineral Springs location or a mobile stop call (336) 703-4273.
Services at these locations are available to enrolled Winston-Salem/Forsyth County students.